Closing down over the Christmas / New Year Period?

Closing down over the Christmas New Year Period

With less than 12 weeks to go until Christmas, it might be worthwhile to start thinking about your businesses operational requirements over this time. It is important to review any applicable modern award or enterprise agreement to understand what (if any) obligations or notification requirements may apply prior to closing the doors over the Christmas / New Year Period.

Directing an employee to take annual leave – Required Notice

A modern award or enterprise agreement may include terms requiring an employee to take paid annual leave as part of a close-down of its operations.  As an example, the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010 states that an employer may require an employee to take annual leave by giving at least four (4) weeks’ notice that it intends to close-down its operations.

Additionally, under the Building and Construction (General) onsite Award 2010, the ‘Annual leave close down’ clause states, that an employer may direct an employee to take paid annual leave, however the Employer in this instance must provide at least two (2) months-notice.

Therefore, it is important to provide your employee’s the applicable notice period to avoid any potential  issues.

What happens if an employee does not have enough leave to cover this period?

If an employee does not have enough annual leave to cover the shut-down period they may agree with their employer to take:

  • Annual leave in advance; or
  • Unpaid leave.


Payment for Public Holidays over the shut down period?

Payment for public holidays occurring during the close down period will need to be made to appropriate employees. For example, if a public holidays falls when an employee is on annual leave, the employee would need to be paid for the Public holiday.


Should you require any further information in relation to the above, or would like to receive Workplace Relations advice please do not hesitate to contact our specialist team here at the Canberra Business Chamber on 1300 277 881.

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